Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
Marymount California University is committed to promoting the health of our campus community members by preserving an environment that is free from illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.
Included in this program is information regarding campus alcohol and drug related policies, abuse prevention programs, and other resources. It is important that all members of the MCU community are aware of these policies and resources.
The Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (34 CFR Part 86) of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) require an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) such as Marymount California University, to certify that it has implemented programs to prevent the abuse of alcohol and use, and /or distribution of illicit drugs both by MCU students and employees either on its premises and as a part of any of its activities. At a minimum, an IHE must annually distribute the following in writing to all students and employees:
- Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees;
- A description of the legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
- A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse;
- A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or reentry programs that are available to employees or students; and
- A clear statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees and a description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution, for violations of the standards of conduct or law.
The unlawful possession, manufacture, distribution, use, sale or gift of alcohol or any illicit drug is prohibited in and on any Marymount California University property, or as part of any University activity. This includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or any illicit drug. Illicit drugs include (but are not limited to) marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, barbiturates, LSD, PCP and substances typically known as “designer drugs” or “club drugs.” Illicit drugs also include prescription drugs, except for the use of medication in accordance with the instructions of a licensed physician. Possession of paraphernalia associated with the use, possession or manufacture of illicit drugs is also prohibited.
Any employee or student who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, expulsion from the University, referral for prosecution, and/or referral to an appropriate evaluation or rehabilitation program.
University Disciplinary Sanctions for Violation of Policy
Faculty or staff who violate this policy will be handled under the appropriate discipline policy. Sanctions may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Disciplinary action may include participation in and successful completion of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program approved by the University.
Students found to violate the University alcohol and drug related policies will be held accountable to the procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, which can be found in The Anchor, our student handbook. Sanctions for violations include attendance at an alcohol and/or drug education (ADE) workshop and/or completion of an alcohol and drug assessment through the MCU Wellness Center. The ADE workshop educates students using a harm reduction model and is required of students that receive an alcohol violation in housing. Students need to know how their body responds to substances and understand the negative consequences of over indulgence. This program educates students about low risk drinking, dealing with peer pressure, when to go to the hospital, when to get help and what they can do to help their friends that may be in trouble. Additional sanctions may include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation, housing relocation or removal, financial restitution, suspension or permanent expulsion from the University.
Violation of this policy may also lead to referral for prosecution to the appropriate local, state, and/or federal authorities. Some local, state, and federal laws establish severe penalties for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, range from a fine and probation to lengthy imprisonment. The following websites and examples provide more information regarding state and federal codes related to drugs and alcohol. Every law related to the unlawful possession, use, manufacture, sale or furnishing of alcohol and other drugs does not appear here. Members of the Marymount California University community are responsible for abiding by all applicable laws.
Students and employees should be aware that penalties for substance abuse-related crimes include the following: driver license revocation, fines, forfeiture of property, imprisonment, and suspension from eligibility for federal benefits (including student loans).
Under the Higher Education Act of 1998, students convicted under federal or state law for the sale or possession of drugs will have their federal financial aid eligibility suspended. This includes all federal grants, loans, federal work study programs, and more. Students convicted of drug possession will be ineligible for one year from the date of the conviction of the first offense, two years for the second offense, and indefinitely for the third offense. Students convicted of selling drugs will be ineligible for two years from the date of the first conviction, and indefinitely for the second offense. Those who lose eligibility can regain eligibility by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program. (20 U.S.C. §1091)
Listed below are some of the legal sanctions for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol:
- First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and fined a minimum of $1,000 or both (21 U.S.C. §844).
- After one prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years and fined a minimum of $2,500.
- After two or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years and fined a minimum of $5,000.
- Upon conviction, a person who violates this section shall be fined the reasonable costs of investigation and prosecution of the offense.
- Forfeiture of personal and real property used or intended to be used to possess or facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than one year imprisonment (21 U.S.C. §853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7)).
- Civil penalty of up to $10,000 for possession of a controlled substance for personal use. Civil penalty is only available for a first offense (21 U.S.C. §844a).
- Discretionary denial of any or all Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first conviction, and up to five years for second and subsequent convictions (21 U.S.C. §862(b)).
A list of Federal Trafficking Penalties for various drug offenses is located at https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/drug_of_abuse.pdf (on page 30) or in the appendix to this policy.
California State Laws
Students and employees should be familiar with California laws governing the consumption of alcohol. The following summarizes some of the state laws relevant to students and employees:
- It is illegal for persons under the age of 21 to possess an alcoholic beverage in any public place or any place open to the public (CA Bus. & Prof. Code §25662).
- Any person who furnishes, gives or sells any alcoholic beverage to someone under the age of 21 is guilty of a misdemeanor (CA Bus. & Prof. Code §25658(a)).
- Any person under the influence of alcohol in a public place and unable to exercise care for one’s own safety or that of others is guilty of a misdemeanor (CA Penal Code §647(f)).
- It is illegal for persons to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants or with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher (CA Veh. Code §23152).
- It is a misdemeanor to ride a bicycle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both (CA Veh. Code §21200.5).
- It is an infraction to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle (CA Veh. Code §23223).
- It is an infraction for an owner or driver of a motor vehicle to allow an open container of alcohol in the passenger area (CA Veh. Code §23225).
California penalties for offenses involving controlled substances include (California Health & Safety Code §11350) imprisonment in the county jail or state prison and fine not to exceed $70 or probation with fine, but for felony convictions a fine of at least $1,000 for the first offense and at least $2,000 for second or subsequent offenses or community service for unlawful possession of controlled substances. The following is a list of some of the legal sanctions for driving under the influence of alcohol (or any other drug):
- First conviction: Imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 96 hours, at least 48 hours which are continuous, nor more than six months and by a fine of not less than $390 nor more than $1,000 and except as otherwise provided suspension of privilege to operate motor vehicle (CA Veh. Code §23536).
- Conviction of driving under the influence with or without bodily injury within ten years of certain other felony convictions including vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence: Imprisonment in state prison or in the county jail for not more than one year and a fine of not less than $390 nor more than $1,000 and revocation of privilege to operate a motor vehicle (CA Veh. Code §23550.5).
- Driving under the influence causing bodily injury: Imprisonment in state prison or county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year and a fine of not less than $390 nor more than $1,000 and suspension of privilege to operate a motor vehicle (CA Veh. Code §23554).
- Driving under the influence causing bodily injury or death to more than one victim: Enhancement of one year in state prison for each additional injured victim up to a maximum of three one year enhancements (CA Veh. Code §23558).
- Second conviction of driving under the influence causing bodily injury within ten years or conviction within ten years of separate conviction of other specified offenses involving alcohol or drugs: Imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 120 days nor more than one year and a fine of not less than $390 nor more than $5,000 and revocation of privilege to operate a motor vehicle (CA Veh. Code §23560).
The City and County of Los Angeles enforces the State of California and federal law as they relate to alcohol and drug violations. Additional restrictions include possession of an opened alcoholic beverages on sidewalks or public spaces, including parks, playgrounds, as well as adjacent to retail spaces which sell alcoholic beverages. Violations result in an infraction (Ord. No. 158,498)
The illicit use of controlled substances and the abuse of alcohol and legal drugs can result in serious injury to the drug user and others and can result in severe damage to property. The abuse of drugs and alcohol has been proven to impair the coordination, reaction time, emotional stability and judgment of the user. This could have tragic consequences where demanding or stressful work situations call for quick and sound decisions. Serious injury or fatality of the drug abuser, other employees or our students could result from the actions (or lack thereof) of an employee or student under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the risk of many harmful health conditions associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are significant and include but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, neurological impairment, kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, bronchitis, respiratory and cardiac failure, and death.
For more information on the health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website, www.drugabuse.gov.
You may also contact the Student Wellness Center for further information regarding health risks, (310) 303-7244 or Wellness@MarymountCalifornia.edu.
Assistance and Educational Programs Available to Faculty and Staff
- Student Wellness Center staff are able to provide confidential assistance and/or referrals to counselors and local agencies and/or self-help groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Cocaine Anonymous. You may also find these groups on the internet.
- Employees covered under the University’s medical insurance may seek treatment through substance abuse benefits. Employees pay only their plan’s deductible and/or co-pay for treatments services. Contact Anthem Blue Cross at the customer service number on the back of your medical card. Employees may also seek confidential help with insurance coverage through the Human Resources Office.
- Employees covered under the University’s medical insurance may also may also choose to obtain confidential counseling or information about treatment services via the Employee Assistance Plan. Contact Resource Advisor at 888-209-7840. The Resource Advisor counselor will give advice and arrange for up to three visits with a counselor.
- Leaves of absence are available under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act. You may request a full leave or intermittent leave to participate in treatment.
- The Employee Wellness Program provides a health risk assessment which includes questions about alcohol consumption. The wellness program will also distribute information from time-to-time about the risks of alcohol and drug use and how to seek help.
Assistance and Educational Programs Available to Students
The Student Wellness Center offers a variety of services to meet student needs, including personal counseling for individuals, groups, and couples. The Student Wellness Center provides crisis intervention, personality assessment, and substance abuse education, assessment and referral to programs or services outside of the University.
The University offers a variety of alcohol and drug education and prevention programs throughout the year. These include:
- The MCU Wellness Center offers a variety of services to meet student needs, including personal counseling for individuals, groups and couples. Services related to alcohol and drug abuse prevention are crisis intervention, personality assessment and substance abuse education, assessment and referral to programs or services outside the University.
- Peer Health Educators, Residential Life Staff, and Orientation Leader Training. These student leaders are trained in alcohol and drug policy and educational issues, including how to care for an intoxicated person, intervention techniques, social norms theory, and the true drinking norms at MCU.
- MCU Wellness Center After-Hours & Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate (310) 303-7372
- Safe Rides Program
Weekly Alcohol & Drug Education (ADE) Workshops available at Oceanview campus, Wednesdays, 2-3pm, Arts 3 and online via Everfi (contact the SWC for registration code/instructions).
Additional campus and residentially based programming on alcohol and drug education and prevention are offered through the year. Peer Health Educators are also trained to offer support and plan programs in topics including alcohol and drug abuse prevention. If you are interested in becoming a Peer Health Educator, stop by the MCU Wellness Center or contact them at (310) 303-7244 or Wellness@MarymountCalifornia.edu.
Located on the Oceanview Campus, Building 3 (adjacent to the MCU Bookstore)
Administrative/Walk-In Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday’s 9am-3:30 p.m.
Appointments Available: Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm
Appointment-Only Hours (no admin available): Monday through Thursday, from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Telehealth Options (for students in California ONLY): M-Th 9am-5pm PST.
Telephone: (310) 303-7244 or just “drop-in”
- The Student Wellness Center team offers confidential psychological services for Marymount students. These services are provided without any additional fees to the student. Contact the MCU Wellness Center to schedule an appointment at (310) 303-7244 or email Wellness@marymountcalifornia.edu
- Students under the University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) can obtain substance abuse treatment and services by contact Relation directly at (877) 246-6997 or visiting the website at: www.4studenthealth.com/marymount or reach out to the Student Wellness Center for assistance with SHIP referrals.
- NurseLine services offered through Optum. Students can utilize the 24/7 NurseLine offered to all students by calling 877-856-8163 for no additional charge to the student.
- 12 Step Recovery Program (off-campus)
All South Bay Central Office, 1411 Marcelina Ave., Torrance, CA 90501
- Anonymous Marymount Tip Line, (310) 303-7373 (on campus, ext. 7373). Students may confidentially report dangerous behaviors on campus, in student housing, alcohol or drug activity or any concern for another student. **THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR CALLING 911**
Information contained in the Drug Abuse and Alcohol Prevention Programs is distributed to all current employees annually via faculty and staff email. A hard copy is provided to new employees.
Information contained in the Drug Abuse and Alcohol Prevention Programs is distributed to all current students at the start of each term via university email.
The Vice President of Student Affairs and the Director of Human Resources shall serve as the main contacts that will have oversight responsibility of the DAAPP including, but not limited to: updates, coordination of information required in the DAAPP, and coordination of the annual notification to employees and students and the biennial review.